'We citizens of the world are neither famous nor spectacular. But there is a slow fire burning within us, and it is time for our latent energies to swell forth anew. It is time for us to reassert ourselves. And it is our duty to remind our fellow creatures of what they are fast forgetting, that true culture is universal.'
In this classic memoir Harold Acton offers a witty and vivid account of the first thirty-five years of his life (1904-39): from a boyhood among the dilettanti in Florence before the First World War, through his friendships with some of the great writers of his generation in Oxford and Paris, to his discovery of a spiritual home in Peking.
'As if he were a latter-day Beckford or Horace Walpole, people will long study his books if only to catch an echo of his voice.' Alan Pryce-Jones, Independent
|Publisher:||Faber and Faber|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.97(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Harold Action knew the entire generation of British writers and artists who were coming of age before and during World War I; this volume takes the reader up the the penultimate moments of the start of World war II. It is beautifully written and is filled with the author's memories of his years at Oxford, his life in China, his spiritual home, and his many friendships. Although many think that he was the model for the character Anthony Blanche in "Brideshead Revisited", "Brideshead"'s author, Evelyn Waugh, stated that Blanche was a composite of Acton and another Oxford graduate, Brian Howard, as well as Waugh's own creativity. It's hard to imagine Anthony Blanche writing anything as nuanced as "Memoirs of an Aesthete". Acton's vocabulary is prodigious; you may find it useful to have a dictionary handy. Also, since many incidents and persons are lost to the mists of time, you may find it necessary to use the internet (or an extremely good encyclopedia) to ensure that you receive the richest possible reading experience.